Sambhali Trust Newsletter
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Sambhali Trust in December 2021
Dear friends & supporters,

We at Sambhali wish you a Happy New Year and all the best for 2022. We hope all of you are doing well and that you had a safe and relaxing New Year’s Eve.

Although we would love nothing more than to finally leave Covid-19 behind us and get back to easier days, the topic is once again very relevant as Omicron cases are increasing all over the world. These days, India is counting about 37,000 new cases every day and has now officially reached the Third Wave. At the moment, 75% of active cases in big cities are Omicron. In Rajasthan, the number of new cases have increased from around 50 up to 1,100 in the last two weeks. Jodhpur is counting about 185 cases on a daily basis.

Fortunately, still more and more people are getting their vaccinations – finally also teens between the age of 15-18 years. However, the country has missed its target of giving all adults two doses by the end of 2021. By the end of December, 64% of India’s adult population has been fully vaccinated; ca. 90% have received their first dose. Even though experts claim that full vaccination coverage will take a long time, India is on the right track. One thing that has to be pushed is the distribution of more first doses since more second doses have been given in the last months. Even though hopes are high that this wave won’t affect us as heavenly as the second wave since Omicron seems to be milder, the situation in the hospitals can still become very dangerous when too many people get infected.
A beautiful mandala made by our newest Sambhali member, Devyani. Happy New Year!
Our Empowerment Centers
From the middle of November until the beginning of December, all participants of Sambhali were part of our yearly #OrangeTheWorld workshops in the name of the UN campaign “End violence against women now!”. Several workshops were held and everybody enjoyed to spread the word and learn more about the topic. Additionally, they had lots of fun to be creative, to decorate the centers and create posters. On the 4th of December, most of them participated in Sambhali’s rally through the city of Jodhpur. 

Besides the daily sewing, hand embroidery, Hindi and Math classes, our students are participating in Yoga and Self-Defense courses which they are really enjoying. On the bright side, we recognize increasing numbers of new students. It is great to see that we reach more girls and women in the neighborhood of our centers and that they are eager to learn something new. In a few areas, the families of our students are trying to keep them from attending our classes but our teachers are doing their best to convince their relatives and bring them back to the centers. Additionally, our teachers offer more and more counseling sessions at the projects and inform all women about Sambhali’s Nirbhaya helpline and program. Mrs. Vimlesh also started self-help groups in all centers in order to help those women with a small loan for a (hopefully) more prosperous future. Furthermore, Monica continues to help our students with their applications to a program run by the Local Government – Indira Gandhi Credit Yojna – which benefits 22 participants with a loan of 50,000 Rupees. Our law interns, Shreshth and Gaurang, support our staff with all surveys and additional legal aid workshops.
In the second week of December, Sambhali’s Founder, Govind Singh Rathore, went to Setrawa and visited our rural Women Empowerment Centre. It was the first day they all came back after the big impact of the second wave last spring. The Trust decided to help 90 women with some financial help to overcome Covid related problems. Thanks to our generous donors, we are usually able to stand by our participants in times like these.

Regarding the current third wave, we hope that we can keep the centers open while following all guidelines and restrictions. Nevertheless, if the situation becomes too dangerous, we may have to shut down everything again and take care of our students and other vulnerable people in another way.
Sambhali’s Boarding Homes
One of the biggest changes within Sambhali in 2021 is the new name for our hostel project: Shiksha. Shiksha means education. Nowadays, girls at the age of 4-21 years are living at Laadli, Sheerni or Abhyasthali Girls Home (Sambhali HQ).

In both Laadli & Sheerni Boarding Home, the girls had their oral exams in the first half of December and their written ones in the week before Christmas. Our tutors helped and supported them accordingly. All of them are still enjoying their weekly Computer and Self-Defense classes. After each class, one can see their happy faces and feel their growing empowerment. The older, former Sheerni girls who are living in Sambhali’s HQ/Abhyasthali Boarding Home had big & important exams and are now waiting for their results. One of them joined our Aadarsh project and supports Mrs. Vimlesh with her workshops in local schools.
Special occasions in December 
The 13th of December was a great day for Sambhali: We were proud to partner in a joint venture with the esteemed Rajasthan Patrika. It is one of the biggest Indian daily newspaper in Hindi. The newspaper and our NGO will work together on our former “Stop COVID” campaign for a month. We plan to reach out to at least two lakh people on the roads of Jodhpur and distribute face masks. 

Shortly after Christmas, we organized our Scholarship program at Sambhali HQ to which we invited his Holiness Shri Shri 1008 Mahant Shri Pratap Puri Ji Maharaja of Taratara Math as our chief guest. The students who participated were the ones who did not receive their cheque earlier. It was nice day and we were honored to welcome his Holiness. 
Welcome & Goodbye
By the end of December, we had to say goodbye to our Business Director, Rashi Kawatra. After 1 1⁄2 years, she went back to her home in Pune. We are very grateful and thankful for her work, help and support in the last months. She joined our HQ/Office Team in Summer 2020 when we just adapted ourselves and Sambhali to the ‘new normal’ after the first strict lockdown period. Rashi was a great help in establishing new projects, taking care of orders & the Graduates upstairs as well as in always greeting everybody with a big smile on her face. She will be missed but we wish her nothing but the best for her promising future.

One has left, one has come: With Rashi’s return to Pune, we have welcomed Devyani Mertiya at Sambhali Trust. She has taken over Rashi’s work & responsibilities and is now the head of Administration. We are happy that she joined our Team and are looking forward to years of great teamwork and accomplishments.
To a beautiful & better 2022!
Thank you all for your endless support, help and the work you do for Sambhali Trust. We appreciate you all and are always happy to hear from you. With a bit of luck and strong vaccination campaigns worldwide, we hope to welcome some of you in Jodhpur this year. Although it is tiring to stay optimistic after so many months of insecurity, loss and grief, we are still all in this together!

Here you can see our Office/Admin Team on Christmas 2021 – We hope all of you who celebrated Christmas had a beautiful time with their loved ones.
Take care & stay safe
Sambhali Trust
To learn more about volunteering with Sambhali please follow the link below: Volunteer with us

Text by Roxanne Näschen
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